Stapleford Park – A Dog Friendly Wedding Venue
Woofs! It’s Daisy repawting!
*jumps up with muddy paws and gives you a big lick*
It’s lovely to see you. Your shoes look fab! Very chewable.
Have some tea and sit on my favourite sofa with me. (Don’t mind the fur.)
You can stroke me while I tell you about my visit to Stapleford Park, if you like. I love being tickled under my chin, ‘k.
They love dogs at Stapleford Park. I had the best time so Mum thought you and your pooch might like it too. And she asked me to tell you about it because she doesn’t speak dog. Which is difficult when she calls me in from the garden and I can’t tell her I have to finish sniffing each blade of grass first to make sure the fairies are okay. Lucky I’m here to translate, huh?
Mum has photographed a few weddings there (excited woofs for a dog-friendly wedding venue!) and it’s one of her favourite places so we spent a couple of days there for her birthday. But we all know it was really for me.
Save me some of that tea, won’t you?
We drove through miles of countryside to get to Stapleford and I wondered if the journey would ever end. We don’t usually drive for so long so I figured we must be going somewhere really good. But to be on the safe side, I kept my paws crossed that we weren’t lost because sat navs aren’t as reliable as noses for finding places.
When mum said “we’re here” I put my paws up on the back of her seat to get a good look. We passed lots of trees and I’m sure I saw a squirrel. I worried that we were passing all the best bits by so I squealed loudly to make sure we didn’t miss it.
We stopped the car in a thing called a car park. Just cars, no green, so how can it be called a park? Anyway, I saw this big old house with lots of windows. I couldn’t understand why there weren’t any dogs looking out of the windows. Perhaps they were chasing cats. There was also a Union Jack flag flying above the door. They must have thought King Charles was a person on our booking. I didn’t want to disappoint them so I didn’t woof anything.
My first impression was really good. I didn’t even have to push my nose through the door to get in. A kind man in a smart suit opened it for me and bid me “good afternoon” … so I put my nose in the air like I didn’t care and sashayed in swishing my tail elegantly. What a lovely welcome. It’s almost as good as the greeting I give mum after she’s been out. But not quite as good. He didn’t give licks and my tail wags are much better.
After we checked in (I’m not sure what that is but I heard the words ‘bed’ and ‘dinner’ so I guessed we were staying for those) the nice man that opened the door led us to our bedroom. Who made him the pack leader? I thought it was a bit of a liberty to be honest but decided to be polite and follow behind.
It was just as well he did show us the way because I think rabbits made the corridors. It was a maze! I took over showing everyone back to the room after that. My nose is awesome at remembering where I’ve been so when the pawrents couldn’t find the way back I showed them exactly where to go.
Two big squishy beds and a water bowl were waiting in the room for Poppy and me. And biscuits too! After we’d sniffed the room to check it was suitable, we took our biscuits to the bar and ate them under the coffee table.
Things I observed from under the coffee table:
- There were no crumbs. I was hoping for some tasty morsels but this place is really clean. They must have excellent cleaning fairies. Which is good because Poppy and me tend to leave lots of fur behind.
- The thing the humans call ‘the casual dining menu’ smells really good. I fancied the salmon but was told I’d already had a biscuit. If I’d known there was a choice …
- The staff work very hard taking orders from the humans, bringing everything over to the table and clearing it away. Poppy and me have to walk to the water bowl and lick the plates clean as mum loads them into the dishwasher at home. What do I need to do to get this level of service every day? I feel it suits me.
- There were lots of comfy chairs to choose from. I think I’d have looked good on one of the wing-backs (they were just my colour) but I had to stay on the floor. Hurumph.
- Other dogs brought their pawrents in for a coffee which came with biscuits. I’m not sure why dogs get their biscuits in the bedroom and humans get theirs in the bar. Most odd.
- There were lots of interesting trinkets and paintings. The most curious thing was a framed portrait of a human with a dog’s head. A hudog? I’ve never seen one of those IRL before. Perhaps they’re native to Leicestershire.
- A secret door! At first, I thought it was part of the bookcase but then it opened and there was another room. The humans coming out said they enjoyed their afternoon tea. All this time and I didn’t realise I should be getting fed mid-afternoon. I must rectify that.
After a lovely rest we ventured outside to explore the grounds. It was raining but walks wait for no dog. Poppy and me had to work like huskies to drag the ‘rents around. They were so slow looking at everything. I know we have four-paw drive but why don’t they just sniff things? It’s much faster.
There were so many sights, sniffs and sounds. I loved running up and down the rows in the walled garden and mum loved the snowdrops. Dad liked the old railway features by the golf course and Poppy’s favourite bit was the muddy puddles.
We discovered a sweet little church. Apparently, you can have a blessing in there if you’re getting married at Stapleford Park. Mum said the guests would get an amazing view of the aisle processions because the pews face towards the aisle rather than towards the altar.
It was all fun and games but then Poppy got scared by the sound of the guns from the clay pigoeon shooting and spent the rest of the walk with her tail between her legs. I was a good big sister and completely ignored her. Well, the ‘rents did say “Don’t make too much fuss”.
We were filthy afterwards (Poppy and me, not the ‘rents) because it was so wet. That’s the trouble with being small and having long fur. So we had to have a bath when we got back to the room. I gave mum my best stink eye so she knew I wasn’t happy about it. This was no ordinary bath though. It was huuuuuuge! I think we could actually have gone swimming in it but mum was a spoil sport and didn’t give us enough water.
Then we had to get dry and have our ears brushed for dinner. There’s a dog sitting service available so pawrents can eat in the main restaurant (us dogs aren’t allowed to be in the bedroom on our own) but our ‘rents decided to eat in the bar so we could all stay together. I was grateful for that because Poppy whines when she thinks she’s been left behind and it keeps me awake.
I crossed my paws for some yummy leftovers but none came so I decided to snooze for the evening. Even Poppy settled in and snored too. We were zonked out after all that exploring.
We slept like logs. No, I meant dogs. My bad. Poppy was a goody four-paws and slept on her cushion in the hallway. She said it was really comfy and she’s going to put one on her list for Santa Paws. I tried every spot in the room and eventually settled on the sofa. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone. Luckily, mum had a lint roller with her.
I heard the breakfast was good. The ‘rents were making lots of appreciative noises which made me very jealous. All I got was some dry bran flakes.
We stopped at a place called Rutland Water on the way home. If you stay at Stapleford Park for a few days it would make a great day trip.
We ran along the water’s edge, chased the ducks and sniffed an old church (Mum says it’s called Normanton church and you can get married there too). After our walk, we had to wait, again, while the ‘rents had coffee and cake, again. We were allowed inside the cafe though which I was grateful for because it was very windy and blowing my ears inside out.
All in all, I had the most wonderful time and loved every smell. There could have been more food but I really hope we can go again soon. I want to go on the walk around the golf course and try afternoon tea (which comes with pawsecco. Fur-real) next time.
If you’re looking for somewhere for a mini-break, a long-break or even a dog-friendly wedding venue then definitely check out Stapleford Park. It’s the dog’s wotsits.
Thanks for saving me some tea. This blogging lark is thirsty work.